Author Topic: 7 year relationship. No sexual desire. She wants to get married. Any Counselors?  (Read 31633 times)

Hula Hoop

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Keep in mind that a century ago, her demand for a commitment to marry prior to engaging in sex would have been seen as entirely appropriate, and even admirable. Our modern culture regards that as ill-advised, and perhaps with good reason; but it doesn't mean that her position is necessarily invalid. Particularly if she is demi-sexual or the like, she may just be stating her own honest emotional need. It's a regrettable impasse, but not one I would demonize her for.

I agree with this. I know several people who have waited until marriage to have sex for religious reasons and it worked out fine for them.  However, in this case, they had a sexual relationship before the cheating episode years ago.  She obviously has no moral or personal objections to premarital sex per se - so something changed for the worse after the cheating and it just seems odd to me that she would not see 7 years of no sex while living together and after having had an active sex life before as a little weird and probably not the best start to married life.

I also think it's a bit strange that she's so fixated on engagement as the solution to all your problems.  OP is being perfectly rational when he says that they need to work on fixing their relationship issues before getting engaged, not after.

One thing which I found useful when dating and evaluating marriage was the "porch test" - in other words, can you imagine yourself happily sitting on matching rocking chairs on your front porch when you're both 80 years old?  If not, then you shouldn't get married.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 02:07:13 PM by Hula Hoop »

zoochadookdook

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Keep in mind that a century ago, her demand for a commitment to marry prior to engaging in sex would have been seen as entirely appropriate, and even admirable. Our modern culture regards that as ill-advised, and perhaps with good reason; but it doesn't mean that her position is necessarily invalid. Particularly if she is demi-sexual or the like, she may just be stating her own honest emotional need. It's a regrettable impasse, but not one I would demonize her for.

I agree with this. I know several people who have waited until marriage to have sex for religious reasons and it worked out fine for them.  However, in this case, they had a sexual relationship before the cheating episode years ago.  She obviously has no moral or personal objections to premarital sex per se - so something changed for the worse after the cheating and it just seems odd to me that she would not see 7 years of no sex while living together and after having had an active sex life before as a little weird and probably not the best start to married life.

she was hurt for a while, so i got it then-but after a long period I figured she'd always be ready when she was ready. She's been on bc for years. I'm hoping she'll be willing to get off it and see if that effects her

iris lily

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OP, You are a great guy for being this thoughtful and thorough in analyzing your relationship. Donít let anyone ever tell you that you did not give this your all. I wish you well.

And it is interesting to see who the guy is on the other side of the equation in all of those posts in the ďWaitingĒ section of Wedding Bee. If your SO wrote a post on Wedding Bee about ďWaitingĒ the ďBeesĒ they would tell her to get the hell out of this relationship.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 04:29:15 PM by iris lily »

kei te pai

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Without wanting to get too explicit here, there are many ways of touching and relating intimately without full intercourse. Is your girlfriend willing to first talk to you and secondly explore closer physical connection?
You both seem stuck in a black and white thinking mode.
Is there a way of consciously moving toward each other without giving ultimatums?
I realise you have seen a counsellor, and maybe focussing on gradually getting physically closer of a period of time might help you both to come to a place of mutual decision making about the relationship.
Maybe do a bit of reading about sensual touching together?

Milizard

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It's totally okay to wait for sex before engagement or marriage for religious reasons, but those people don't:
A) shack up in the interim
B) drag it out for 7 years

Why would you move in together if there is no sex? Why would she? It's like affectionate roommates. 

zoochadookdook

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Without wanting to get too explicit here, there are many ways of touching and relating intimately without full intercourse. Is your girlfriend willing to first talk to you and secondly explore closer physical connection?
You both seem stuck in a black and white thinking mode.
Is there a way of consciously moving toward each other without giving ultimatums?
I realise you have seen a counsellor, and maybe focussing on gradually getting physically closer of a period of time might help you both to come to a place of mutual decision making about the relationship.
Maybe do a bit of reading about sensual touching together?

Maybe I'll bring this up to her tonight. I like this idea vs ultimatum on ultimatum

zoochadookdook

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It's totally okay to wait for sex before engagement or marriage for religious reasons, but those people don't:
A) shack up in the interim
B) drag it out for 7 years

Why would you move in together if there is no sex? Why would she? It's like affectionate roommates.

we had lived together prior, it seemed natural when i bought the house to move in.

zoochadookdook

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Keep in mind that a century ago, her demand for a commitment to marry prior to engaging in sex would have been seen as entirely appropriate, and even admirable. Our modern culture regards that as ill-advised, and perhaps with good reason; but it doesn't mean that her position is necessarily invalid. Particularly if she is demi-sexual or the like, she may just be stating her own honest emotional need. It's a regrettable impasse, but not one I would demonize her for.

I agree with this. I know several people who have waited until marriage to have sex for religious reasons and it worked out fine for them.  However, in this case, they had a sexual relationship before the cheating episode years ago.  She obviously has no moral or personal objections to premarital sex per se - so something changed for the worse after the cheating and it just seems odd to me that she would not see 7 years of no sex while living together and after having had an active sex life before as a little weird and probably not the best start to married life.

I also think it's a bit strange that she's so fixated on engagement as the solution to all your problems.  OP is being perfectly rational when he says that they need to work on fixing their relationship issues before getting engaged, not after.

One thing which I found useful when dating and evaluating marriage was the "porch test" - in other words, can you imagine yourself happily sitting on matching rocking chairs on your front porch when you're both 80 years old?  If not, then you shouldn't get married.

i mean i could picture us in the future that far though. She's not fixated in that it's a solution to the problems-she just never saw this as a problem. She's been happy!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 04:49:10 PM by zoochadookdook »

RetiredAt63

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I feel like for this thread I should change my name to "I survived the sexual revolution".  As in, I remember the shift, it happened while I was at university.  Suddenly there was birth control that was reliable and a woman could control! Suddenly we could have sex and not worry about getting pregnant and "having to get married" and be called a slut.

Um, lots of people who technically didn't have sex before marriage did a lot of necking and petting beforehand.  Does anyone even still use those terms?

So OP, given the present impasse, may I suggest your girlfriend get off her BC, and the two of you just engage in necking and heavy petting, agreed beforehand no "real" sex, and see how she feels about that?  Before an engagement.   Because if she feels nothing after getting off BC, and the necking and petting do nothing for her while she knows you won't be  "going all the way", then she has definite issues - possible physical, possibly emotional, but issues that you can't fix for her.

One general comment -  back in the day, "respectable girls were not interested in sex".  Lots took years before they actually enjoyed sex with their husbands.  It was their "marital duty" to have sex with their husbands, no-one assumed that they would also enjoy it. Which sucked for them, and also for many of their husbands.  I don't think this is what either OP or his girlfriend would want.

marble_faun

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It's nearly impossible to make my case without her feeling like it's her fault/I'll never want to marry her etc. And it's not like that, it's just I want to establish our relationship better.

Just remember, your stance is reasonable.  Don't let yourself be guilted into a huge life-decision that your gut is telling you isn't quite right. 

Avoid the "trial" engagement option at all costs.  Once you are engaged, a whole series of events will be set in motion: your families will be informed, your parents will get super-excited, and wedding planning will start rumbling forward. Amid the flurry it will be even more difficult to extricate yourself from the relationship (especially as you seem prone to want to avoid conflict with her). If you do break up after getting engaged, she will wind up feeling not only hurt, but also possibly publicly humiliated. It will be way worse all around.

Boofinator

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Yeah the dogs are like our children. Neither one of us would want the give them up or keep them away from eachother. The younger one is bonded to the older one.

Dogs are not like children when it comes to deciding relationship status. And even if they were, children typically go with one or the other parent for a good majority of the time after a divorce and come out just fine (I saw my real dad every few years growing up and it didn't scar me).

Do not factor in the dogs into your decision. Worst-case, you can get new dogs, and they will love you.

jrhampt

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I feel like for this thread I should change my name to "I survived the sexual revolution".  As in, I remember the shift, it happened while I was at university.  Suddenly there was birth control that was reliable and a woman could control! Suddenly we could have sex and not worry about getting pregnant and "having to get married" and be called a slut.

Um, lots of people who technically didn't have sex before marriage did a lot of necking and petting beforehand.  Does anyone even still use those terms?

So OP, given the present impasse, may I suggest your girlfriend get off her BC, and the two of you just engage in necking and heavy petting, agreed beforehand no "real" sex, and see how she feels about that?  Before an engagement.   Because if she feels nothing after getting off BC, and the necking and petting do nothing for her while she knows you won't be  "going all the way", then she has definite issues - possible physical, possibly emotional, but issues that you can't fix for her.

One general comment -  back in the day, "respectable girls were not interested in sex".  Lots took years before they actually enjoyed sex with their husbands.  It was their "marital duty" to have sex with their husbands, no-one assumed that they would also enjoy it. Which sucked for them, and also for many of their husbands.  I don't think this is what either OP or his girlfriend would want.

That must have been really interesting to live through!  It is interesting to think about- sex used to be a much higher stakes game than it is now.

RetiredAt63

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I feel like for this thread I should change my name to "I survived the sexual revolution".  As in, I remember the shift, it happened while I was at university.  Suddenly there was birth control that was reliable and a woman could control! Suddenly we could have sex and not worry about getting pregnant and "having to get married" and be called a slut.

Um, lots of people who technically didn't have sex before marriage did a lot of necking and petting beforehand.  Does anyone even still use those terms?

So OP, given the present impasse, may I suggest your girlfriend get off her BC, and the two of you just engage in necking and heavy petting, agreed beforehand no "real" sex, and see how she feels about that?  Before an engagement.   Because if she feels nothing after getting off BC, and the necking and petting do nothing for her while she knows you won't be  "going all the way", then she has definite issues - possible physical, possibly emotional, but issues that you can't fix for her.

One general comment -  back in the day, "respectable girls were not interested in sex".  Lots took years before they actually enjoyed sex with their husbands.  It was their "marital duty" to have sex with their husbands, no-one assumed that they would also enjoy it. Which sucked for them, and also for many of their husbands.  I don't think this is what either OP or his girlfriend would want.

That must have been really interesting to live through!  It is interesting to think about- sex used to be a much higher stakes game than it is now.

For sure - as far as I am concerned, these are the "good old days". I have no desire to go back to the 50's socially.  Or even earlier.  From my small sample size, every single marriage I know of, of various generations, where the couple got married because they had to, ended in divorce, and before the divorce it was obvious they were unhappy.   Ouch that was a horrible sentence structure.

Linea_Norway

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If I understand it correctly, the OP alone owns the house they live in. And there are the dogs to consider. Is one of the reasons to not break up, that it will disrupt her life too much? If she doesn't own part of the house, she is the one who has to move out. The OP maybe doesn't want to do that to her. Still, she will survive somehow. She could live with her parents or rent a small room somewhere. It should not play a role in the desision.

Hula Hoop

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If I understand it correctly, the OP alone owns the house they live in. And there are the dogs to consider. Is one of the reasons to not break up, that it will disrupt her life too much? If she doesn't own part of the house, she is the one who has to move out. The OP maybe doesn't want to do that to her. Still, she will survive somehow. She could live with her parents or rent a small room somewhere. It should not play a role in the desision.

I think from OP's recent comment that that is the case.  It sounds like maybe when she moved in he did it because "it seemed only natural when he bought the house" and maybe she gave more significance to it?  At any rate the fact that they live together does not mean that they need to stay together forever.  I had to move out of my ex-boyfriend's apartment when we broke up (he didn't own it but the lease was in his name) and I survived.  I just got a moving van for my stuff and rented a new apartment.  It adds a complication to the break-up but nothing insurmountable. 

As for the dogs, as someone else noted above, they're not children.  Worst case scenario, she gets the dogs and you get new dogs.  Whatever you do, don't use the dogs as a reason to keep seeing each other as this will just drag things out.  If she gets them and you want to see them occasionally, maybe see them when they're in the company of a neutral party like a dog walker or a relative?

Retiredat63 - interesting insights.  My mother has told me a lot about the sexual revolution as well.  She was kind of ahead of her time and lived with my dad before marriage (which was horrifying to many people) but she had several friends who got married young because they wanted to have sex.  According to her, a large proportion of those people ended up having mid life crises in their 40s and affairs as they had never slept with anyone else.  Some of the marriages survived and some didn't.  But there was kind of a 'divorce boom' in the 70s and, according to her, this fueled a lot of it.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 01:28:10 AM by Hula Hoop »

zoochadookdook

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Welp last night I made my case on why I wouldnt be proposing.

Every counterpoint I thought about and responded with rational and reasonable thoughts and words.

She was upset as she had just been so excited and now is sad trying to process that. She says she knows I want to feel closer in our relationship before marriage but now she feels more distant. I told her I wasn't going to lie to her and fake an engagement just for the sake of being engaged and that I'd like to establish just a base intamacy through counsoling, stopping bc etc just to see if we can work on that and then move forward. She's upset and understandably so but seems to rationalize my decision. She said she was being a brat and just needs to get over that.

She's miserable and doesn't know how much longer she can feel like this. It feels like I'm not choosing her unconditionally or committing to her as is and she's just shutting off her emotions.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 08:59:17 AM by zoochadookdook »

Linea_Norway

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Welp last night I made my case on why I wouldnt be proposing.

Every counterpoint I thought about and responded with rational and reasonable thoughts and words.

She was upset as she had just been so excited and now is sad trying to process that. She says she knows I want to feel closer in our relationship before marriage but now she feels more distant. I told her I wasn't going to lie to her and fake an engagement just for the sake of being engaged and that I'd like to establish just a base intamacy through counsoling, stopping bc etc just to see if we can work on that and then move forward. She's upset and understandably so but seems to rationalize my decision. She said she was being a brat and just needs to get over that.

Good for you for being honest and clear. That makes the situation easier to handle. She should now take some time to draw her conclusion: leave you or improve your current intimacy situation.

Malkynn

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That's a really good update and some good reflection on her part.

Well done doing something really hard and thinking through it so carefully.

kei te pai

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It is good that you were able to have this conversation. I would hope that she can acknowledge that this is a fair and reasonable request from you, and offers something more than an expression of her feelings. If you can work through this as a couple, recognising and meeting each others needs then it will be a foundation for a marriage.

zoochadookdook

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Update 2 of sunday 4/7/19

She says it'd make her feel better if I at least ordered the ring (no it's not expensive or anything). She says that would at least let her feel like I was trying to move forward on her end. She also is still holding onto the what if we work on intimacy for the next week/til the cruise "if i change my mind" mindset. I explained that changing takes time and she said she can't do any of the physical stuff until engagement so she doesn't know what else I want from her (she had previously been holding on to til marriage and did change that to engagement). I'm not against buying the ring, but I told her I have no current intent to get engaged. I believe that she still thinks of this trip as ideal and has beefed it up in her head to be a perfect thing (has it planned out, has been buying cute underwear for it etc).


former player

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You tell her last night that you won't be proposing, and today she wants you to buy her an engagement ring "to make her feel better"?

Either she is in denial or she is trying to box you in to an engagement.  Either way, she is not being honest, either with herself or with you.

I think you are trying to do the right thing by both of you.  I'm sorry it's being made so hard.

zoochadookdook

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You tell her last night that you won't be proposing, and today she wants you to buy her an engagement ring "to make her feel better"?

Either she is in denial or she is trying to box you in to an engagement.  Either way, she is not being honest, either with herself or with you.

I think you are trying to do the right thing by both of you.  I'm sorry it's being made so hard.

She might be both. She just thinks we've done all we can and how I feel about her does make her feel able to open up or not. Like she's so reserved about sex that she isn't ready until she feels that commitment and choice. I don't know how else to impress we should work on the relationship before engagement or marriage. She sees engagement as a sort of trial period before marriage where we could work on the but she has internalized that need as a necessity and I don't see her budging off that. I've made it clear I can not get married until we have established a sexual situation that works for both of us.  She's not meaning to be vindictive or cruel or whatever-she needs to see i want to be with her for the long haul before she gives herself away like that.

Last night she just couldn't process it. Like she's been sad and unhappy for the last 2 weeks since we've kind of been discussing it because I think she's set herself so into "we belong together-we can just work through anything" that she can't see any alternative. She's bought clothes for the trip, had her hair and eyelashes done, bought cute underwear and the likes (as she expects to....get back in the swing of things) and for her-getting engaged is validation because how she feels is determined by how i feel towards her. (i.e me saying I don't want to get engaged just crushes her and she feels distant from me). Rather than hurting and feeling that-she's said she'd feel better if I at least bought the ring-and if we worked on it (albeit there's not much she can do physically if she is incapable until said engagement) was there a chance we could get proposed?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 12:27:34 PM by zoochadookdook »

Malkynn

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She thinks the ring will make her feel better, but a ring she has to hide from people will likely make her feel worse. Actually making and engagement fake makes it so much worse.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. I won't try to tell you what you should do. However, if you do agree to get her a ring, then preface it with "it's going to hurt you to have an engagement ring when you aren't actually engaged and can't share it with people. That might poison the experience for you. I would much rather give you a ring when we can both be purely and openly excited about it."

Just a thought. From experience.

ETA: an engagement is not at all a "trial period", she is 100% wrong about that. It's a time of enormous pressure and it's tremendously difficult to back out of. Moving in together is a trial period for marriage. Engagement is a planning period for a wedding. It's more like going through first year of law school, you're still awhile away from being an actual lawyer, but you are so invested already that it's tremendously difficult to change your mind.

DO NOT underestimate the magnitude of getting engaged.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 12:16:16 PM by Malkynn »

Kris

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You tell her last night that you won't be proposing, and today she wants you to buy her an engagement ring "to make her feel better"?

Either she is in denial or she is trying to box you in to an engagement.  Either way, she is not being honest, either with herself or with you.

I think you are trying to do the right thing by both of you.  I'm sorry it's being made so hard.

She might be both. She just thinks we've done all we can and how I feel about her does make her feel able to open up or not. Like she's so reserved about sex that she isn't ready until she feels that commitment and choice. I don't know how else to impress we should work on the relationship before engagement or marriage. She sees engagement as a trial period before marriage where we could work on the but she has internalized that need as a necessity and I don't see her budging off that. She's not meaning to be vindictive or cruel or whatever-she needs to see i want to be with her for the long haul before she gives herself away like that.

Last night she just couldn't process it. Like she's been sad and unhappy for the last 2 weeks since we've kind of been discussing it because I think she's set herself so into "we belong together-we can just work through anything" that she can't see any alternative. She's bought clothes for the trip, had her hair and eyelashes done, bought cute underwear and the likes (as she expects to....get back in the swing of things) and for her-getting engaged is validation because how she feels is determined by how i feel towards her. (i.e me saying I don't want to get engaged just crushes her and she feels distant from me). Rather than hurting and feeling that-she's said she'd feel better if I at least bought the ring-and if we worked on it (albeit there's not much she can do physically if she is incapable until said engagement) was there a chance we could get proposed?

Good lord.

Sorry, but this is ridiculous. Engagement is not a "trial period before marriage."

The "trial period" is the seven years you've been together, before engagement.

The fact that she has decided she can't bother to try until she is engaged means that the trial period is doing what it is supposed to do: showing you whether the relationship should culminate in marriage.

It should not.

Hula Hoop

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I just don't get this.  As we've all pointed out - why does she feel that she needs engagement/marriage in order to have sex when you've already had plenty of sex way back in the beginning of your relationship when, I assume, you were a lot less committed than now (ie. didn't know eachother that well, didn't live together, didn't have dogs or furniture together)?  Good lord.  I know you say that she means well but it almost seems like she is trying to use this to manipulate you into proposing. 

I also find this fixation on a ring, a proposal on a cruise, the man having to do the proposing etc extremely retro and just weird in this situation.  If she's so gung ho to get married, why doesn't she just propose and buy her and your own rings? 

Kris

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^^^ Yes.

And the fact that she's done all of this stuff -- buying new underwear, getting her eyelashes done (??? I don't even know what that means...?) and hair done, etc. -- in other words, willing to do all of that work/make all of that effort to set up a scenario where you feel pressured to propose because it's what she wants ... but won't do anything to address your needs and the health of your relationship until afterwards, when she's gotten what she wanted... well, it kinda tells you where her priorities are, doesn't it?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 01:05:31 PM by Kris »

LittleWanderer

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OP, I'm sorry this is so hard for you, but really, there are only two scenarios here.

1.  You stay together and it ends badly down the road.
2.  You break up and move on and find happiness with someone else. 

Seriously, there are no other outcomes to this situation. 

Imma

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Sounds like she's already written the script for her very own romantic movie and you just don't seem to understand your role.

She honestly sounds too young and immature for marriage. It's not about the proposal, the ring and the dress. As long as she doesn't understand that, she's only setting herself up for divorce.

 I know one couple where the woman dropped serious hints that her partner needed to propose on the day of their 10th anniversary, or else. They are still together and married now and their relationship is about as happy as you'd expect from a marriage that started from emotional blackmail. They're probably going to stay together forever since they've both threatened the other with a custody war if they ever leave.

marble_faun

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It sounds like you handled the conversation last night well.  Now you just need to stick to your guns, even if she is unhappy and disappointed for a bit. 

Do not fall into the trap of ordering the ring, which is just another way of communicating "yes, we're getting engaged."  It will raise her expectations, and the come-down will be even harder.

One thing that has been puzzling me is why she is in such a hurry to marry someone who she does not seem to be attracted to anymore, and who deep down she seems not to trust. Whatever is going on, it is not a good foundation for a marriage.

Milizard

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Yeah, that is really immature.  Like I said, it's really too late to go there after years of shacking up.

Hula Hoop

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One thing that has been puzzling me is why she is in such a hurry to marry someone who she does not seem to be attracted to anymore, and who deep down she seems not to trust. Whatever is going on, it is not a good foundation for a marriage.


Yes this is very mysterious.  Obviously, physical attraction is not enough to make a marriage but that has to be there for a relationship to work.  My theory is that she's gay but doesn't want to admit that to herself or family and friends.

kei te pai

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I am not feeling optimistic about this OP. From what you say she is not willing to explore any physical intimacy without a ring. This is ridiculous.
It sounds quite manipulative on her part, and very self absorbed. Think about this a few years down the road if you marry.
Witholding physical affection may become the "go to strategy" whenever you have a difference of opinion. Sounds like a recipe for misery to me.

RetiredAt63

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I'm sorry to pry, but do you two have any physical intimacy?  Because it is hard to go from zero to full with no in-between.  Engagement or no engagement.   As I mentioned before, there is lots of in-between activity that has never needed an engagement - i.e. the necking and petting.  If she isn't even interested in doing that . . . . And if she still isn't interested in doing that after she goes off the pill . . .

Has she discussed alternate ways to manage her periods with her ob/gyn?  Sure the pill can affect desire, but not usually to that extent.

And I agree with the others that she is building a scenario that you are just an actor in, not a participant.

Re the house and dogs, people go through much more upheaval when they divorce - there is the house, and the kids, and the pets, and the finances (pension, etc.).

And I just want to point out that I am not mad at your girlfriend, just thinking that there are issues that she needs to figure out with her doctor and possibly a therapist.  It is not uncommon for women to lose physical interest when they feel unloved by their husbands and just see themselves being taken for granted, especially when they are doing a double load  (work and house/kids) when their husbands are not, and when bedtime comes they are exhausted and their husbands suddenly expect them to be all interested when all they want is some sleep.   But that doesn't seem to be the case here.  Of course there may be more bothering her than just what she has told you and you have told us.

pbkmaine

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Do not buy a ring until YOU are ready to get engaged.

iris lily

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The more I read here, the more I just want the OP to break up before this cruise. When is the ocean cruise anyway? I donít even see him going on that! Itís Difficult to prolong this inevitable break up.

 OP, this is really really really important: you do not do not need to defend your girlfriendís intentions here or to yourself. We all know she does not intentionally mean to hurt you. She does not intentionally mean to manipulate you. We know that!


She is unintentionally doing things that are manipulative And this is probably because she is immature or she is unaware of her true self, or she is impractical, or she lacks a shared vision of values with you....or...or...or...

She is not mean. So stop defending her and the intent in her mind. Yes, you both can take responsibility for where your relationship is right now and that is not a good place.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 04:00:24 PM by iris lily »

iris lily

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In general, not apecific to thismsituation but in response to some of the ideas floated above:

1) I think ultimatums for marriage can be a necessary and a good  thing, but it requires both parties to be mature decision makers who know themselves. There are women who have been in ten year relationships who want to have a baby, and they donít want to have that baby outside of wedlock. They need partner to marry them, or not. That seems reasonable to me, the biological clock is a real thing.

2) I think itís  reasonable for someone to stop having sex for all kinds of personal reasons so for someone to say as they did up thread that because the girlfriend in this scenario had sex and now does not she is required to continue to do itó-uh, No. No no no.

ysette9

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^^ yep, I completely agree with both points above. I also feel that if one partner thinks that sex is an important component of a relationship then that person can and should go find another relationship that delivers it. And if the first partner is no longer willing to have sex for any reason, then that partner should either openly address the issues or break up.

Milizard

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Where was this, say, 3 years ago?  Was it no sex until a ring back then, too?   How long has this stalemate been  going on?

I've gone through periods of time when I didn't want to for months, and others when I  wanted to multiple times a day, so i understand how desires can change for a variety of  reasons. Years, though, that's a whole different universe.

She's likely never found her orgasm.  She may never with you.  She also may be seeking all of that stuff  in the wrong place.

zoochadookdook

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so after talking most of the afternoon weíve come to a understanding

She understands why I canít get engaged and wonít be getting engaged on this trip and she still has to process it (has said she still wants to go and such). This is sad but I reinforced my point it is not the right step.

She recognizes that she will have to make a change in her personal beliefs of sex after engagement to before it-I told her I donít want her to do anything she doesnít want to, but I do want to establish that. Part of this was we never talked about it so for years i didnít realize she had wanted to wait until marriage.

Part of it is because of how I hurt her and she just didnít want to be hurt and vulnerable like that again so waiting until marriage made sense to her. She also hasnít had many urges and such as after so long and being so set in her mindset it hasnít been coming up. BC could be a part as well.  Sheís definitely not gay-just been internalizing a sex drive.

 She  has said that we probably should come up with some sort of timeframe to repair the relationship by/if i can commit to engagement just to give us a realistic time frame. We both agreed that would be a good idea as we understand that doing nothing will get us nowhere

Milizard

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I didn't necessarily mean gay. It could be she's looking  for gentle, but actually turned on by a little rough. Or countless variations of those strange twists.

fuzzy math

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You seem like a super nice guy. I think you have to be aware of the fact by now that she holds the currency and despite her verbally stating that she will be open or try this or that, she is still controlling you entirely. She is a lot more determined than you seem to be and we are all concerned she is going to wear you down. Please don't be the guy who got coerced into getting engaged.

She is looking for a ring (not even commitment because she is aware you can't presently commit) in exchange for sex. That's not love. It's a financial arrangement bordering on prostitution. Despite you saying that you're concerned about the actual relationship, she keeps trying to work in a way for you to commit to getting a ring. Either just order it or if that won't work get a time by when it has to be ordered.

I think you should also be reminded of the fact that the vast majority of us screaming NO NO NO at you are women. That should tell you something.

Forgive yourself for your transgressions and value yourself and your needs a bit more. You will feel so much better.

GreenSheep

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I keep getting stuck on the fact that she seems to think that the only way to show complete commitment to someone is to get engaged. And yet here you are, living with her, without sex for years even though it's important to you, going to counseling with her, telling random strangers on the internet all the wonderful things about your relationship, and even defending her to random strangers on the internet. If that doesn't scream "I chose you and only you," I don't know what does. Engagements can be broken off. Marriages can end in divorce. It's how someone treats you on a regular basis that shows you how committed they are to you, and I don't think you could possibly be doing any better.

Also, seconding what others have said... many things that seem like they will turn your life upside down really won't, or at least not for long. Humans are more resilient than we often think we are, and the house/dogs/vacations/other details can be completely changed without a catastrophe. The important thing is your long term happiness, and hers. It seems like you're both good people, and it's admirable that you're trying to work on this, but I suspect that if things don't work out, you'll both look back on this in a few years and be so glad that you decided to let go because life has gotten even better than you thought it could be.

ETA, in light of the comment below that was posted while I was posting mine: Female here. And I've never understood the push for engagement/marriage. My husband and I dated for 4 years, and lived together for 1 year, and I knew from the beginning that he wasn't big on marriage. So I was fine with being all-but-legally-married. Then, out of the blue, he proposed. Ring. Knees. Alone together at a waterfall in Iceland. The whole bit. I was absolutely shocked, and it was great because I knew that it was what HE wanted, not what I had pushed for. (And yeah, I kinda realized that I would prefer to be married rather than not, but I was so happy with him that the paperwork and the ring didn't really matter. Until he showed me they mattered to him despite his initial general resistance to the idea of marriage.) If I had pressured him to propose like your girlfriend is trying to do with you, I would have spent the rest of my life wondering whether it was what he really wanted. If she's saying she has trust issues, I just fail to see how pressuring you to propose is going to convince her that you've chosen her purely because that's what you wanted.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 05:58:58 PM by GreenSheep »

RetiredAt63

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Bunch of random thoughts.

Um, no sex before marriage - well that boat sailed.  Guess it is back at the dock.

Is there any heat between the two of you? When you cuddle, does she snuggle closer?  Do you kiss, hold hands, hug a lot, stuff like that?  Because it sounds as if you want that physical closeness, not just the sex but the physical two bodies being close. I hope this is true, because if you want to have sex with her but you don't want the cuddles and physical displays of affection (without them leading to sex, just straight affection), you aren't turning her on for sex.  You are turning sex into an obligation.

I remember the Ann Landers survey, where a surprising number of (married) women said that if they had to choose between sex and cuddles, they would choose cuddles.  Too many men treat having sex as a separate item, instead of it coming from a place of mutual love and trust and physical affection.

Men and women do (this is a generalization) come from different directions.  "Men need sex to feel loved, and women need to feel loved to have sex." Your girlfriend seems to have equated "feeling love"with "being engaged/married".

And GreenSheep is right, you have shown a lot of commitment.

iris lily

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I keep getting stuck on the fact that she seems to think that the only way to show complete commitment to someone is to get engaged. And yet here you are, living with her, without sex for years even though it's important to you, going to counseling with her, telling random strangers on the internet all the wonderful things about your relationship, and even defending her to random strangers on the internet. If that doesn't scream "I chose you and only you," I don't know what does. Engagements can be broken off. Marriages can end in divorce. It's how someone treats you on a regular basis that shows you how committed they are to you, and I don't think you could possibly be doing any better.

Also, seconding what others have said... many things that seem like they will turn your life upside down really won't, or at least not for long. Humans are more resilient than we often think we are, and the house/dogs/vacations/other details can be completely changed without a catastrophe. The important thing is your long term happiness, and hers. It seems like you're both good people, and it's admirable that you're trying to work on this, but I suspect that if things don't work out, you'll both look back on this in a few years and be so glad that you decided to let go because life has gotten even better than you thought it could be.

ETA, in light of the comment below that was posted while I was posting mine: Female here. And I've never understood the push for engagement/marriage. My husband and I dated for 4 years, and lived together for 1 year, and I knew from the beginning that he wasn't big on marriage. So I was fine with being all-but-legally-married. Then, out of the blue, he proposed. Ring. Knees. Alone together at a waterfall in Iceland. The whole bit. I was absolutely shocked, and it was great because I knew that it was what HE wanted, not what I had pushed for. (And yeah, I kinda realized that I would prefer to be married rather than not, but I was so happy with him that the paperwork and the ring didn't really matter. Until he showed me they mattered to him despite his initial general resistance to the idea of marriage.) If I had pressured him to propose like your girlfriend is trying to do with you, I would have spent the rest of my life wondering whether it was what he really wanted. If she's saying she has trust issues, I just fail to see how pressuring you to propose is going to convince her that you've chosen her purely because that's what you wanted.

Do you have children?  For me, since I didnít want children, it didnít much matter to me if I got married or not. Although I was not keen on the idea of living with someone because I didnít really want to give up my space. And if I gave up my space and commingled money ( big compromises,)   it better be for a serious relationship but again,  not necessarily marriage.

I completely understand people who mutually decide that they will not get married because they share that value. Marriage isnt necessary.

There are people who say they will not get married because their commitment to one another is stronger if they work on it evry day Rather than rely on a legal status.Yeah I personally donít see that for me but I can understand their philosophy.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 06:27:50 PM by iris lily »

kei te pai

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Just want to back up what Retiredat63 says. (Im also Female).
As a teenager in the 70's we did a lot of "everything but intercourse" fooling around on dates, and in a way those were some of the most erotic times in my life. It also helped me learn about my own body and needs.
If physical closeness and touch does not lead to desire on either side then you shouldnt be together.
It shouldnt be something you have make yourself do against your inclination.

And if kindness, good humour and everyday life together does not lead to affectionate touching, then you are also not in a relationship that should lead to marriage.
I must admit that I have trouble understanding how you have managed to sleep in the same bed for so long without this becoming unendurable.
I dont really accept your girlfriend's explanation of the no touching thing, it seems like a bargaining tool to me.

It would be really great if you two can sort this, but it seems unlkely.



 

marble_faun

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I keep getting stuck on the fact that she seems to think that the only way to show complete commitment to someone is to get engaged. And yet here you are, living with her, without sex for years even though it's important to you, going to counseling with her, telling random strangers on the internet all the wonderful things about your relationship, and even defending her to random strangers on the internet. If that doesn't scream "I chose you and only you," I don't know what does. Engagements can be broken off. Marriages can end in divorce. It's how someone treats you on a regular basis that shows you how committed they are to you, and I don't think you could possibly be doing any better.

+1

Perhaps it would be worth having a conversation with her about why she associates true commitment with a ring, while your years of living together in a loving relationship count for nothing.

The infidelity was wrong, but if she was unable to emotionally recover from it, she should not have gotten back together with you. Instead, she is bringing it up as a problem years later and claiming that marriage will miraculously solve everything.

A wedding is a single day of celebration. It's not a cure for deep psychological wounds.

It sounds like there is some productive discussion happening.  That's good!  You can see how the situation develops.  In the meantime, avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as a promise to get engaged within a specific timeframe.

zoochadookdook

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She has no libido. She doesn't know if she can develop one but was waiting until engagement to at least try. She doesn't want to open up until she knows I'm with her for the long haul because she's been hurt in the past.

She doesn't know if she can feel heat and gain a libido but she is wanting to try. Right now she's said I won't compromise so the only option is for her to decide if she can break how she feels about waiting for sex with no promise of engagement or such on my part.

It's sad. We love each other and it's not like either of us is fundamentally wrong.

zoochadookdook

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I keep getting stuck on the fact that she seems to think that the only way to show complete commitment to someone is to get engaged. And yet here you are, living with her, without sex for years even though it's important to you, going to counseling with her, telling random strangers on the internet all the wonderful things about your relationship, and even defending her to random strangers on the internet. If that doesn't scream "I chose you and only you," I don't know what does. Engagements can be broken off. Marriages can end in divorce. It's how someone treats you on a regular basis that shows you how committed they are to you, and I don't think you could possibly be doing any better.

+1

Perhaps it would be worth having a conversation with her about why she associates true commitment with a ring, while your years of living together in a loving relationship count for nothing.

The infidelity was wrong, but if she was unable to emotionally recover from it, she should not have gotten back together with you. Instead, she is bringing it up as a problem years later and claiming that marriage will miraculously solve everything.

A wedding is a single day of celebration. It's not a cure for deep psychological wounds.

It sounds like there is some productive discussion happening.  That's good!  You can see how the situation develops.  In the meantime, avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as a promise to get engaged within a specific timeframe.

I think it's because it's a promise that I want to marry her and "move our relationship forward".

pbkmaine

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She has no libido. She doesn't know if she can develop one but was waiting until engagement to at least try. She doesn't want to open up until she knows I'm with her for the long haul because she's been hurt in the past.

She doesn't know if she can feel heat and gain a libido but she is wanting to try. Right now she's said I won't compromise so the only option is for her to decide if she can break how she feels about waiting for sex with no promise of engagement or such on my part.

It's sad. We love each other and it's not like either of us is fundamentally wrong.

The odds of her developing a libido at this stage of your relationship are minuscule.

Milizard

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Maybe try giving her a long, slow, non-sexual massage.  Start at her extremities (hands/fingers, feet/toes) be very complete, and work your way towards the nether regions. Go close, but never completely there. If that doesn't stir up anything for her, then you've got nothing.